Powerball® Frequently Asked Questions

Playing Powerball®

Q: What is Powerball®?

A: Powerball® is a multi-state jackpot game offered in 44 lottery jurisdictions (view map) including Arkansas. All member lotteries contribute a percentage of sales to a jackpot prize pool. Jackpots start at $40 million and increase after every draw until won.

Q: What is PowerPlay®?

A: PowerPlay® can be added to any Powerball® play as an option to increase non-jackpot winnings by as much as a million dollars. A multiplier of 2, 3, 4 or 5 is randomly selected during the drawing for determining PowerPlay® prizes for the bottom seven Powerball® prize tiers. The multiplier will not apply to the match-5 prize; instead the Powerball® with PowerPlay® prize will be set at $2 million.

Q: When and where is Powerball® drawn?

A: Powerball® drawings are held at 9:59 p.m. CST on Wednesday and Saturday in Florida. Past draws are available to watch online.

Q: Can I enter non-winning Powerball® tickets in Points for Prizes™?
A: 
Winning and non-winning Powerball® are eligible for Points for Prizes™ if the ticket has a Points for Prizes™ code box on the front of the ticket. However, only instant (scratch-off) tickets are eligible for the Play It Again™ program.

Q: Is it possible for the Powerball® number to be the same as one of the five white ball numbers?
A: 
Yes. The five white ball numbers and the one Powerball® number are drawn from separate sets of balls, so the Powerball® number could be the same as one of the white ball numbers.

Q: Which has better odds – picking my own numbers or requesting a quick pick?

A: Whether you pick your own numbers or have the terminal randomly select numbers for you, the odds of winning are the same.

Purchasing Tickets

Q: How much do Powerball® tickets cost?

A: Powerball® tickets cost $2 per play. The Power Play® option costs an additional $1 per play.

Q: Can I purchase Powerball® tickets in advance?

A: To play multiple upcoming draws, request from 2 to 20 Multi Draws either on the playslip or through the retailer. Multi Draws will include the next upcoming draw and be consecutive from that draw. Draws cannot be skipped.

Q: How late can I purchase Powerball® tickets on a draw night?

A: Powerball® sales are suspended one hour prior to the draw.

Q: Can a Powerball® ticket be voided or canceled?

A: No. Once a Powerball® ticket has been printed, it cannot be canceled.

Q: Can I buy Powerball tickets online or by mail?

A: No. Powerball® tickets must be purchased from a licensed lottery retailer.

Prizes and Claims

Q: Do Powerball® tickets expire?

A: Prizes must be claimed within 180 days of the draw date on which the prize was won.

Q: Do I have to match the numbers in the exact order drawn?

A: No. The order of the white ball numbers drawn does not matter, but the one red ball (Powerball®) must match the Powerball® number on the ticket.

Q: Can I redeem a winning Powerball® ticket in any state?

A: Although the winning numbers are the same in all Powerball® states, a ticket must be redeemed in the state in which it was purchased.

Q: I lost my ticket. Can I claim a prize with a playslip or store receipt?

A: Powerball ® prizes can only be claimed with a ticket printed from the lottery terminal. Playslips or store receipts will not constitute proof of purchase. Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, meaning the person who presents the ticket for claim will be presumed to be the owner. Always sign the back of any lottery ticket immediately.

Q: If the Powerball® is drawn from a set of 35 balls, why are the odds of winning with just the Powerball® not 1 in 35?

A: The odds of winning the $4 prize for matching just the Powerball® are 1 in 55 because those odds are a combination of (1) matching the Powerball® and (2) not matching any of the white ball numbers. The odds of matching the Powerball® and one white ball are 1 in 111.

Powerball® Jackpot

Q: What happens if more than one person wins the jackpot?
A: 
If there is more than one jackpot-winning ticket, the prize will be split equally between the jackpot-winning tickets.

Q: Why does a jackpot winner receive a smaller amount than the advertised jackpot?

A: The advertised jackpot is the total amount won if a winner selects an annuity over 30 annual payments (29 years). The amount of cash on hand is actually less than that and the advertised jackpot is what the cash on hand would total if invested over the 29 years. If a player chooses a lump sum, the player does not receive the interest that the cash on hand would have earned over 29 years. Applicable withholding taxes will also be deducted.

Q: What happens if the jackpot is not claimed?
A: 
If the jackpot is not claimed within the time frame set by the jurisdiction in which it was won (180 days in Arkansas), the jackpot funds will be returned to the states based on each state’s proportion of the sales that contributed to that jackpot.

Q: What happens if an annuity prize winner dies?

A: Annual prize payments can continue to be paid to the winner’s heirs, or the annuity may be cashed out by the estate.

Q: What is the largest Powerball® jackpot to date?

A: The largest jackpot in Powerball® history was $365 million, won in Nebraska in February 2006.

For more information, please visit www.powerball.com.